THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has rejected pleas by struggling companies to be temporarily exempted from paying tax, as they are struggling due to the harsh economic conditions.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
Addressing members of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) Matabeleland Chamber at an annual general meeting in Bulawayo, Zimra deputy commissioner general, Innocent Kuzvinzwa said it was not possible for the authority to exempt companies from tax payments.
Instead, he said, companies should apply for payment plans.
“Apart from the processing and negotiation of payments, Zimra cannot write-off debts. It’s not possible for Zimra to forgive your debts. It’s not possible also to give a blanket moratorium for companies. That work is for the government to do,” Kuzvinzwa said.
He was responding to a question posed by CZI on whether there was any possibility for a moratorium for companies, who are clearly struggling to pay long-dated historical dues.
Lobby groups and the business community have been appealing to government to temporarily exempt some businesses from meeting their statutory obligations (moratorium), as a way to resuscitate them.
A moratorium is an authorisation to a debtor permitting temporary suspension of payments.
Kuzvinzwa urged companies to pay their taxes and the entities owing it funds should be consulted and come up with payment plans, which enable them to pay their dues without upsetting their operations.
Failure to do that, he said Zimra would not hesitate to garnish their accounts.
Kuzvinzwa added that the tax collector was having sleepless nights due to smuggling.
“We have come across cargos coming from Zambia and being offloaded here in Zimbabwe and this has given us sleepless nights,” he said.
To counter this, Zimra has introduced electronic tracking system, he said.
Companies have of late been crying foul over interests and penalties charged by Zimra if they miss tax quarterly targets.